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s939 Upgrade advice - X2/ Opteron?

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December 16, 2006 1:26:49 PM

I've been trying to find the best upgrade options for my A8N Sli-Delux setup. I've got a winchester 3500 right now with 2gb of OCZ platinum ram, raptor hd's and a 6800 ultra. Planning on an x1950 or geforce 7950 card and a new cpu. I was looking at the 4600 x2 or maybe even the 5000 but was wondering if Opteron is even a possiblity for this? And if it is, is it an option worth looking at? I'm just not that up on the differences with the opteron's or advantages/disadvantages.

If it's more trouble than it's worth, any opinions on wheter or not it would be worth spending the cash on the 5000 vs. the 4600 would be appreciated. ( suppose I might even consider the fx-60 tho initially hadn't intended on spending quite that much )

Thanks for the input.
December 16, 2006 1:46:00 PM

Quote:
I've been trying to find the best upgrade options for my A8N Sli-Delux setup. I've got a winchester 3500 right now with 2gb of OCZ platinum ram, raptor hd's and a 6800 ultra. Planning on an x1950 or geforce 7950 card and a new cpu. I was looking at the 4600 x2 or maybe even the 5000 but was wondering if Opteron is even a possiblity for this? And if it is, is it an option worth looking at? I'm just not that up on the differences with the opteron's or advantages/disadvantages.

If it's more trouble than it's worth, any opinions on wheter or not it would be worth spending the cash on the 5000 vs. the 4600 would be appreciated. ( suppose I might even consider the fx-60 tho initially hadn't intended on spending quite that much )

Thanks for the input.


EIther of those choices will power a 7950GT. Opterons are better because they have a higher bar for quality, but performance wise there is little to no difference. Once you get above 2.2GHz the X2 will be less expensive.

Wait I just realized you said A8N which is 939. This mens your only real choice is Opteron. There are some 4400+ chips at Newegg but go with a 175 or 185 for up to $415.
December 16, 2006 2:25:44 PM

If you can catch a good Christmas sale, you might find an FX60 for a decent price. If so, they are the king of the hill for 939 systems. Otherwise, as Baron wrote, an Opteron 175 or 180 is a good choice.

I'm in a similar position as you, trying to hang on to my 939 for as long as possible. I figure that I have at least 6 more months with it, maybe a bit longer. I bought a FX60 during the Thanksgiving sale and its working great.
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December 16, 2006 2:33:17 PM

X2 Manchester Core 4200, 4600 & 5000 = 512Kb L2 Cache - fair choice.

X2 Toledo Core 4000, 4400 & 4800 = 1Mb L2 Cache - good choice.

Opteron Denmark Core 165 thru 185 = 1Mb L2 Cache - best choice.

Although the dual core 165's thru 185's are marketed as Denmark cores, CPU-Z will identify them as Toledo cores, which is the same core as the X2 4000, 4400, and 4800. Essentially, the 939 X2 4000 @ 2.0Ghz (if you can still find one) is the desktop counterpart of the Opteron 170 @ 2.0Ghz. The Opteron 1xx series have 1Mb L2 cache per core, and they use standard DDR unregistered, non-parity memory, so the only difference other than price, is that the Opteron is a server / workstation class processor.

Opterons are more stringently fabricated, tested, selected and binned for stability, and are yielded from "cleaner" silicon semiconductor material. They operate at lower voltages and temperatures per clock, as compared with their X2 desktop conterparts, which make the Opterons the best overclockers. The 170 is statistically the highest overclocker, often achieving 50% on high end air cooling, depending upon stepping.

The overclocking limit for clean 90 nanometer dual core AMD's is about 3.05Ghz. Of course, they're all unique, and there are always exceptions. My previous rig was an Opteron 170 @ 3.0Ghz. It's an excellent CPU, and an inexpensive equivalent to the 2.8Ghz FX-62 Flagship chip. Opteron 170's are currently selling for $189.99.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Hope this helps, and good luck! :D 
December 20, 2006 10:15:49 AM

Thanks for the look, but that's an AM2 chip and we're talking about socket 939's at the moment.
December 20, 2006 10:21:22 AM

Thanks Comp.. but here's the next question. I'm not really an overclocker and also ain't really sure how overclockable the A8N SLI Delux is. Do you know? And if I did would it also require substantial fan/cooling upgrades? Otherwise, would a 185 outperform an FX-60? Or could I do a 180 and match it without risking heat/stability issues? ( the 180 is around 295 and is stock at 2.4 x 2 ) I'm pretty well set up with airflow now but it still runs fairly warm with the 3500 and 6800 gpu. If I put a 7950 and an overclocked cpu will it turn it into an oven?



Thanks again man.
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December 20, 2006 5:07:11 PM

Quote:
Thanks Comp.. but here's the next question. I'm not really an overclocker and also ain't really sure how overclockable the A8N SLI Delux is. Do you know?


The A8N SLI Deluxe is a high end board, and overclocks very nicely.

Quote:
And if I did would it also require substantial fan/cooling upgrades?


The Opteron's boxed cooler is quite good, but a high end cooler will yield the highest OC at the lowest temperatures.

Quote:
Otherwise, would a 185 outperform an FX-60?


The 185 is equal to the FX-60.

Quote:
Or could I do a 180 and match it without risking heat/stability issues? ( the 180 is around 295 and is stock at 2.4 x 2 )


Yes, with a 200Mhz OC.

Quote:
I'm pretty well set up with airflow now but it still runs fairly warm with the 3500 and 6800 gpu. If I put a 7950 and an overclocked cpu will it turn it into an oven?


Nearly all nVidia based cards (including 6800's and 7950's), recirculate hot air inside the case. ATI started using dual slot rear exaust cooling solutions with the 850, and continued the trend from the 1800's thru the 1950's. nVidia finally adopted the dual slot rear exaust cooling solution with it's new 8800's. The following link is a listing of all NewEgg's 7950 cards.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=EN...

As you can see, there are no 7950's with rear exaust. This is why I'm running a 1900. If you want your case to run cooler without being modified, you may wish to consider a 1950, or an 8800. Also, remember to include enough PSU ampacity to support your new card.

I hope this helps you, and good luck with your selections. :D 
December 20, 2006 5:40:13 PM

Dude, you said "ampacity"... !

I think CompuTronix and I will at some point be labled Opteron fanboyz but so be it. Grab an Opty in 939 while you still can.
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December 20, 2006 5:46:43 PM

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Dude, you said "ampacity"... !


Amperage Capacity.

Quote:
I think CompuTronix and I will at some point be labled Opteron fanboyz but so be it. Grab an Opty in 939 while you still can.


I'm a performance fanboy. I couldn't care less who's corporate logo is on the parts.
December 20, 2006 5:55:23 PM

I've had worse lables ...
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December 20, 2006 7:05:31 PM

Quote:
I've had worse lables ...


MISRy, it's as though Opterons are something of a well kept secret. As evidenced by the ongoing X2 upgrade threads, most OP's and respondents don't research beyond X2's or FX's. Even many overclockers overlook Opterons as a better alternative.

Quote:
Look at the price of this. $139.99 fx 55s

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


Oldgreyhead, sorry, that's a single core, and the OP is interested in dual cores.
December 26, 2006 9:51:23 AM

Yeah comp,
That helps me alot. You guys have definately helped me with my choices here.
thanks again
!